– It’s more fun to go skiing with a friend –
The Snowsports Industry of America produced a survey which reports that “Having someone to go with was the most significant factor that encouraged participants to go cross country skiing (61.9 percent).
Other encouraging factors had similar statistics in the mid-to-high 20 percentages including being able to go cross country ski locally, getting a lesson, having new equipment, being in better health, having more vacation time, and fewer work commitments.”
The same survey(which was done in the USA in 2013) reports that xc ski participation declined 23% in the USA compared to the previous year. I find that astounding. Here in Alberta and southeastern BC every indication is that xc skiing is on the upswing. For example,
- Retail stores report good sales
- My blog readership increases every year.
- Try to get a parking spot at Moraine Lake road in early November, or at Elk Pass on a Saturday in January.
- I see lots of new skiers taking lessons and trying out this activity.
- The Lake Louise to Banff loppet sells out in one hour. Five years ago, you could register up until the deadline. All loppets seem to be very well attended.
- I also hear from reliable sources that we’re experiencing a large increase in backcountry skiers.
It’s possible there are unique factors influencing the decline in the States, such as poor snow conditions, which we didn’t experience to any significant degree here.
Another puzzling stat on the report is the gender mix. It says there’s a 60/40 ratio of males to females. My anecdotal evidence doesn’t support that conclusion, but maybe it’s just that the women are more noticeable to me?!
What are your thoughts? Are we bucking the trend?
Here’s a link to the survey: Snowsports fact sheet